Tag Archives: spring fever 10k

Spring Fever 10k Recap and Review

The trouble with spring races in Colorado is that the weather is so stinking unpredictable. It can be 70 degrees and sunny one day and 20 degrees and snowing the next. That was the case last weekend for All-Out Multisport’s Spring Fever 5k, 10k, and half-marathon. Friday was sunny and in the high 40s. Sunday was sunny and in the mid-60s. Saturday, though, was snowy, windy, and in the high 20s/low 30s. Saturday was, of course, race day.

Usually when I race, I make an A, B, and C goal. For this race, though, I had three equally satisfying A goals, a B goal, and no C goals. My A goals were to PR, set a course record, and/or win the race. After studying the elevation chart, I knew the PR was unlikely (my current PR is 40:30, and that was run on an all-downhill course), but the course record (42:57) was in reach. Looking at past winning times, I thought winning was also in reach, but that would clearly depend on who else entered this year.

Since all those goals were dependent on outside factors, my B goal was simply to give all I had to the race. If I crossed the finish line completely spent, knowing I couldn’t have pushed harder, I’d be satisfied.

Since we had a work event in Denver on Friday night, J and I decided to get a hotel room and skip the extra driving. The race started at 9:30 and we were only about 30 minutes away, so we had plenty of time to eat some oatmeal, change outfits several times (that one was just me), and plan out the rest of our day. We arrived at the race around 8:45. I checked in, grabbed my bib, and hustled back to sit in the toasty car for a while (and change …again… into a warmer top). At about 9:05, I reluctantly got out of the car, did a mile warm-up with some quick strides, hit the bathrooms (heated, not porta-johns!), and lined up at the start.

"If I smile, I'll be warmer....right?"
“If I smile, I’ll be warmer….right?”

 

After what seemed like 8,000 announcements (not really that many. I was just cold), we were off!
image (10)

 

The first two miles were on a pretty steep downhill, and the wind was at our backs. Here were my splits and my corresponding thoughts:

Mile 1: “Too fast too fast too fast. Can’t slow down. WHAT ARE MY PARENTS DOING HERE?!” (They decided to take a spontaneous trip to see my brother in Denver and cheer me on at the race!) “That girl is getting ahead of me. Don’t let her get too far.” Split: 6:13

Mile 2:  “Let her go. She’s out of your league, and you’ll blow up trying to catch her.” Split: 6:32

During these first two miles, I made  a friend named Matt. As we turned into the wind, we took turns drafting for each other and exchanging concerns about when the uphill would begin.

Yay! Downhill! (That's my new friend in the orange)
Yay! Downhill! (That’s my new friend in the orange, and the winning woman leaving me in her dust.) Photo courtesy of runningguru.com.


Mile 3:
 “Found the uphill. Holy steep. And wind in the face. Gross. Lead girl is long gone. Hang on to second.” Split: 7:42

Mile 4: “I remember the elevation chart. It’s back to downhill after this mile. But ouch, seriously.” Split: 7:47

This is where my new friend Matt pulled ahead. There was another runner ahead of us, and Matt said, “Let’s catch him!” I told him to go on; I needed to keep something in reserves for the final uphill near the finish.

Mile 5: “Wheeeeeeee! More downhill! Headwinds while running downhill aren’t nearly as bad as uphill!” Split: 6:14

Mile 5.7: “Whoa. 5k course. Walkers. Strollers. I don’t like this.”

Mile 6: “Pass that guy in tights. Pass him on this little hill.” (Same guy I’d been tailing that Matt passed at Mile 4). Got him! Split: 6:53

Check out that ridiculous face I'm making. (photo courtesy of runningguru.com)
Check out that ridiculous face I’m making. (photo courtesy of runningguru.com)

Mile 6.01: Ouch. More uphill. Almost there. Push! Push!

MIle 6.2: Oh no, tights man. You will not come from behind now! (I beat him. Just barely.) Split: I don’t know because I didn’t stop my watch until over a minute later. 

MIle 6.21: Gasp. Gag. Don’tbarfdon’tbarfdon’tbarf. Walk it out.

Official Time: 43:00.

I neither PRd nor won. I was three seconds away from the old course record, but that didn’t matter, since the top woman ran sub-40. But I definitely made my “B” goal — I gave it all I had and pushed through on a tough course and a tougher day. So I’m pretty darn satisfied with that.

Overall, I liked this race (aside from the weather, but when you sign up for a March race in Colorado, you know what you’re potentially getting into). But it had some negatives, too. Here’s a quick rundown.

Pros

  • Well-organized. The half started about 10 minutes before the 10k, which started about 10 minutes before the 5k, and all the starts went smoothly. Bib pick-up was also very speedy and easy.
  • Indoor restrooms. This was a MAJOR plus on such a frigid day.
  • Gorgeous course. It’s in Golden, which is a beautiful area, and it circles a lake. If the weather was clear, it would have been absolutely stunning.
  • Tons of prizes. In addition to overall and age-group awards (I got a restaurant gift card for the second-place prize), the race had a ton of raffle giveaways — restaurant, massage, and running store gift cards, water bottles, gym memberships. I think they said they had over $7,000 in prizes.
  • A podium. What? Not a big deal? Whatever. I thought it was fun. Not all of us get to stand on podiums regularly.

    The top three popsicles... I mean women runners.
    The top three popsicles… I mean women runners.
  • Lots of aid stations and great volunteers. Seriously, how cool do you have to be to stand out in the freezing cold for a couple of hours, handing out water and shouting encouragement?
  • Cute shirts and medals. Honestly, I think finisher medals for short races are a little silly, but who wouldn’t love this bee?
    image (1) image (2)
  • A great cause. The race raises money for the Parkinson’s Association. Can’t fault that.
  • Free photo downloads. Many races charge obscene prices for the pictures, so getting these for free was pretty cool. Especially since I don’t want to pay for pictures in which I look like I’m simultaneously pooping and dying.

Cons: 

  • Having the 10k and the 5k course share the final 1.5 miles was not fun. It meant that the fast 10k runners came up behind the slow 5kers — people who were just there to walk it with their pals or kids, pushing strollers, etc., or as we got closer to the finish line, run-walkers who would abruptly stop and walk.  Not that there’s a thing wrong with those types of racers (J and I just walked one last weekend); it’s just a pain to bob and weave, especially when your energy is running out. A ton of people also had in headphones, so they couldn’t hear runners coming up behind them, gasping out “scuse me” or “onerleft” (that’s about all the enunciating I could do just then).
  • No hot drinks at the finish. All I wanted was something warm. Of course, if they did have coffee or hot chocolate, it would’ve been an 80-degree day and no one would have wanted it, so I can’t really fault the organizers for that one.

Overall, I enjoyed this race and recommend it. I’d do it or another All-Out Multisport event again … hopefully on a little nicer day.

Once again, I want to give a shout-out to Heather for designing my training plan. The hard, fast workouts definitely gave me the confidence to push through some of the tough spots in the race.

Tell me about a recent race of yours!

What are your tips for racing on tough days/courses?

 

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Weekly Recap: January 6-12, and My 2014 Race Plans

Hey friends! Did you notice the new layout? What do you think? I’m not completely in love with the header, but after spending waaaay too long yesterday fighting with my ancient computer, I gave up and called it good enough. Anybody want to donate to the “Cassie Wants a New Laptop” Fund?

This was our first week back at work after the holidays, which is always kind of a weird one. The teachers and students are all about half-rejuvenated from break, everyone is busy right off the bat, and the mood is just a little…off. For all that, though, it was a pretty decent week, and I was satisfied with both the work aspect and the workout aspect.

Here’s how my training went down:

Monday: 5 easy miles and some core work

Tuesday: AM: 10 x 400m; 6 miles total with warm-up and cool down. It was my first non-fartlek speedwork since the marathon in October, and it felt good, even if what was supposed to be 5k pace was a little slower. PM: 60 minutes lifting. The gym was surprisingly (and delightfully) quiet for a Tuesday in January.

Wednesday: 6 miles easy plus core

Thursday: 7 miles of treadmill hills. After a 10-minute warm-up, I did one minute at 5% incline and marathon pace, then two minutes to recover, and just repeated that sequence until I hit seven miles. It was easy at first, but it got brutal by the end.

Friday: An hour of lifting followed by 5 easy miles.

Saturday: 10 glorious outdoor miles. There was still a lot of ice, which slowed my overall pace, but I was so happy to be outside running that I didn’t even kind of care.

photo 1 (1)Days like yesterday make me wish I was running a spring marathon after all. And then days like today, with its 40-mph wind gusts, remind me that no, I do not wish that.

Sunday: 60 minutes of yoga. Full disclosure: I haven’t actually done this yoga yet, but if I post it now, I’ll have to do it. It has been months since I’ve done yoga, and my increased strength training is making my muscles even more tight than before (if that’s even possible), so I need to get back on the yoga train.

So that’s the past. Now let’s talk about the future.

Over Christmas break, I started to plan out what my 2014 races. I knew I wasn’t going to run a spring marathon, but I wasn’t sure which shorter races (or even distances) to target. Then, I found out that I won the Better With Veggies Move Happy Challenge, which included a 5k or 10k training plan. So, since I needed to get back to Heather with my choice, J and I sat down and cranked out a plan. Here’s what’s coming up:

  • February 8: Loveland Sweetheart Classic 4-mile
  • March 15: Brush St. Patrick’s Day 5k (a local race that I may race or I may walk with Jordan and our friend Sarah)
  • March 22: Spring Fever 10k in Golden. This is the race that Heather’s making my training plan for. I’ve never done it before, but I’ve heard good things, so I’m excited. (There’s also a 5k and a half marathon, if you’re interested).
  • May 17: Run to the Shrine 10k in Colorado Springs. At least that’s what I’m planning; there’s no 2014 info up yet for this race yet, so I’m hoping that it’s still happening and that’s the right date.

I’m also thinking about a race in April, either the Horsetooth Half or the Cherry Creek Sneak 10-mile, but April’s a pretty crazy month between school stuff and family stuff. I’m not sure if either will work out schedule-wise.

Summer races are up in the air right now. We need to get our vacation on the books first. Priorities, people.

I definitely want to run a fall marathon, and I recently found out about the Monument Marathon in Scottsbluff, NE in September. It sounds like a great race, and they have cash prizes for the top three competitors. Last year’s winner ran a 3:21. Hmmm.  But I also have a soft spot for Rock n Roll Denver. I still have time to make that decision, at least.

Those are my plans for now, anyway. I’ll keep you posted as they change and develop.

Anybody running any of the same races I am?

What races am I missing that I should definitely do?